CAN launch New ‘Climate and Sustainability’ Manifesto

On May 18th CAN is launching a new manifesto on ‘Climate and Sustainability’, adding to the already 6 existing manifestos aimed to inspire conscious advertising choices. The new manifesto embodies the belief that the content we create, and the processes by which we create them, should be sustainable and responsibly considered, avoiding either creating or funding climate misinformation and disinformation. The new manifesto will also be presented by our co-founder’s during Adweek Europe.

The manifesto was created together with a team of climate and industry professionals including Friends of the Earth, Havas Media Group, SSE, Ipsos, and Virgin Media O2, in order to ensure the document is actionable and that the recommendations made have a lasting positive impact on the climate.

In light of the recent IPCC report, which showed us once again that the time to act on climate change is now and cannot wait any longer, we believe that advertisers play a key role in this. From briefing to production to the content we create; at every step the climate and sustainability must be ingrained.

SSE commented on the manifesto: “SSE is proud to have worked on the development of this new manifesto initiative led by CAN. It’s critical that brands and advertisers take responsibility to support this incredibly important issue and ultimately help accelerate the journey to Net Zero.”

The manifesto outlines clear steps and resources for advertisers to consider throughout the working process. We urge organisations to ask themselves questions like: Do you have a plan for Net Zero? Does your creative reflect the climate reality of today? Do you estimate carbon emissions from proposed production? There are many tools and groups who can assist in these areas, which we have outlined throughout the document.

Besides a focus on the materials advertisers are putting out, and how they are creating this, we also ask organisations to consider what type of content they are funding. It is imperative that advertisers are not funding climate disinformation, something which can sometimes inadvertently be the case. Reviewing your brand safety settings and blocklists is key in this. At the moment, there’s an economy which makes producing disinformation very lucrative, and advertisers are footing the bill. Plus, advertising tools mean that those producing disinformation can increase its reach and target people.

When we have a limited time to solve one of the biggest issues of our generation, it’s not OK to allow monetisation of content which deliberately misleads the public and policy makers. In the manifesto we also highlight the need to consciously invest in climate journalism and content, and some suggestions on how to achieve this.

Upon the launch of the manifesto, CAN co-founder’s Harriet Kingaby and Jake Dubbins said:

“Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation and it’s important that advertisers are doing the most they can to ensure we meet our goals under the Paris Climate Agreement and keep warming to under 1.5 degrees. That means considering the impact of everything we do and make, including what our media spend funds and the norms that we project on screen. Advertising can have a huge role to play in changing hearts and minds about climate, defunding the disinformation economy, and decarbonising our operations, but we must act now.”

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The Conscious Advertising Network is a voluntary coalition of over 70 organisations on a mission to stop advertising abuse. www.consciousadnetwork.org